Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson joined Marketplace in the summer of 2012 to re-launch and produce the then-named Tech Report, now called Marketplace Tech. He was officially hired as host in early 2014.

Johnson started his career in journalism in 2003, working as a features and general assignment reporter for The Day newspaper in New London, Connecticut. While there he won a regional award for feature writing, and was recruited to write a weekly entertainment column for the Tribune Media Service wire service. In 2006, Johnson relocated to New York City to be an entertainment and music reporter at the Staten Island Advance newspaper, where he soon moved into hard news, working the cops beat and as a weekend city desk editor. In 2010, he began to work as a freelance web producer at The Takeaway, a national radio show produced out of New York's WNYC Radio in partnership with WGBH, The New York Times and the BBC. Johnson went on to be a freelance radio producer at WNYC, serving as the digital editor for The Takeaway while also doing live and features reporting for the station on everything from Occupy Wall Street to New York's last functioning ship graveyard. While working at WNYC, Ben started blogging for Slate Magazine's breaking news blog, The Slatest.

In 2012, Ben left WNYC to manage a partnership between Slate and YouTube, producing daily breaking news videos and other content for SlateV, the magazine's video department. He also wrote regularly for Slate's Future Tense blog and drew the extreme ire of his fellow Radiohead fans by asking the band to stop touring.

He doesn't like to brag about it but over the years, Johnson has interviewed Jay-Z, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Luciano Pavarotti, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, Josh Homme, Biz Stone, Guy Kawasaki, Col. Chris Hadfield, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Neil Young. He enjoys and engages in 80s movie references, pie baking, and high-fives. His Twitter feed has never been polluted by a subtweet. His interest in swimming knows no bounds, especially if there is a high-dive and a high-five involved. 

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Features by Ben Johnson

FTC to investigate Google's Waze acquistion

If Google's acquisition of Waze is seen as purely anti-competitive, the Federal Trade Commission could break up the deal.
Posted In: Google, FTC, mobile apps

Civil disobedience comes online

Is there such a thing as a digital sit-in or an Internet traffic picket line?

Microsoft returns to San Francisco for developers conference

What to expect from Microsoft's developers conference, Microsoft Build.
Posted In: Microsoft, windows 8, windows

Train safety, data, and measuring the value of a life

Which is more important: updating train safety mechanisms or improving rail infrastructure?
Posted In: train, infrastructure, Transportation

MakerBot and Stratasys: 3D plus 3D equals what?

Industrial 3D printer maker Stratasys just bought a hot name in the 3D printing consumer market: MakerBot.
Posted In: 3D printing, Makerbot, mergers

At Instagram video launch, Zuckerberg doesn't make the pitch

Facebook is adding videos to its photo-sharing app Instagram. It's the company's answer to Twitter's Vine app.
Posted In: instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Vine, Mark Zuckerberg

How your cellphone could create an emergency telecom network

One of the hardest things to do in the wake of a disaster is communicate. Now researchers in Boston have a plan to address that with something called an ad-hoc network.
Posted In: boston, telecom, emergency

Avatar therapy aims to aid patients with schizophrenia

A psychiatrist in England is using digital avatars -- almost like characters in a video game -- to help people with schizophrenia put a face to the voices in their heads.
Posted In: Health, mental health, psychology, avatars

Is Verizon to blame for slow Netflix service?

People who get their Internet from Verizon have reported having trouble with Netflix. It has to do with something called 'peering' -- and it seems Verizon hasn't been to friendly to its peers of late.
Posted In: netflix, Verizon, net neutrality

What's the point of a drone debate if the FBI already uses them?

FBI Director Robert Mueller says the FBI uses drones domestically, though rarely. He is calling for more discussion on drone use, while the FBI proceeds.
Posted In: drones, FBI, surveillance

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